NBC25 continues to learn more about the Michigan State Police Trooper who died early Wednesday morning while on his way to help Saginaw County Sheriff TMs Office deputies.
Trooper Jeffrey Werda, 43, had a long history of going out of his way to help others. He served as a police officer, trooper, volunteer first responder, and even spoke out against police brutality he witnessed while trying to help victims of hurricane Katrina.
NBC25 found the report, which you can see here, that Werda filed in September 2005. He said he saw police beat innocent bystanders and threaten subjects.
I was told that I could go ahead and beat someone down or bitch slap them and they would do the report, Werda said Baton Rouge Police Officers told him in the report. I was told this was my gift from them for helping with the hurricane relief efforts.
Werda TMs report contributed to a massive investigation into police brutality by Baton Rouge Police after Hurricane Katrina.
He just loved people and wanted to do the right thing, said Tammy Rhyndress.
Her husband Gary Rhyndress and Werda met more than a decade ago. They both were volunteer first responders who drove ambulances in Davison.
We were partners, said Gary Rhyndress. He will be missed.
When he heard the news that a trooper had died in a car accident in Taymouth Township Wednesday morning while rushing to help in a police chase, he immediately thought of his friend.
"He was the one that would always rush in at a time of need, said Werda. He was on his way to help. That's just Jeff. That's who he was."
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder ordered American flags be flown at half-staff until Werda is laid to rest.
Werda leaves behind a wife and three children. Gary and Tammy Rhyndress want them to know they see Werda as a hero.
If you have a memory of Trooper Werda that you would like to share, please share by leaving a comment below.